Once when my granddaughter Allie was 4 years old, a couple of her young neighbors came over to play, apologizing since it was a little late. As she opened the door, she immediately invited them in, saying, “You are ALWAYS welcome to come in.” I was struck by the warmth of this gracious gesture. It reminded me of how the Buddha offered a similar welcome to people who wanted to learn and be part of the community, no matter when they arrived. “Ehipassako”, he said, come on in and see for yourself. The warmth of that compassionate welcome cascades down the centuries to right now. Meditation is an eternally generous host, inviting us to come inside and see what’s here.
Can we offer such hospitable attention to everything that appears in our consciousness? Even that which is challenging and difficult to bear? Meditation welcomes us just as we are, our whole being generously offered to the present moment, over and over again, because these are the only moments we actually have to live, these unstoppable, free-flowing, ever-changing moments. As we gently relax into THIS moment, we begin to notice the silence in between sounds, the stillness in between movements and sensations, the pause between breaths, the space around everything. This space, stillness, welcomes us in. Right here, we enter into the ineffable aliveness of being.
How do you feel your own aliveness? By opening your senses and being 100% present. The invitation received from life requests the pleasure of your company; please bring all your guests – the good, the bad, the cringeworthy – all the expressions and perceptions flowing through your body, mind, and heart. These are guests in our lives; relationships, thoughts, feelings, pets, people, appearing and disappearing, experiences being born and passing away, as we sit still.
Over the years of meditating, little by little and all at once, it dawned on me – oh, this is the kaleidoscopic truth of being alive and awake. This is the continually changing, dream-like landscape of loving awareness, awareness loving being awake as life unfolds in me, as me, you, everything. Open the door to your mind house, step out and discover a land of stillness and beauty. ‘Sitting quietly, doing nothing, Spring comes, and the grass grows, by itself.’ – Basho